This article will tell you just about everything you need to know about missions in Eve Online.
What are Missions?
Missions are jobs that NPC agents give you (if you have high enough standing with them), in exchange for ISK, standings, loyalty points, items, and possibly other rewards.
What types of missions are there?
In general, there are four types of missions: Courier, Encounter, Mining, and Trade. Courier missions involve transporting items from your current station to another one, Encounter missions involve warping to a region of space where you must defeat NPC enemies or complete some other objective, Mining involves warping to a region of space and mining ore from asteroids there, and Trade missions involve acquiring a trade good and delivering it to your agent.
How do I do a mission?
To get a mission, go to an NPC space station that has agents available to you, talk to one of those agents, and accept the mission that that agent gives you. Complete the objective of that mission, then talk to your agent to say that you completed the mission. Your agent will then reward you for completing the mission.
What type of ship should I use for a mission?
For level 1 missions, a Destroyer is best. For level 2, go for a Cruiser. For level 3 missions, a Battlecruiser is sufficent, and for level 4, you should consider using a Battleship. Read the guide to ship types for more information.
Objective not completed? What is wrong?
Sometimes, even after you think that you have completed a mission, the mission briefing will not indicate that you have completed it. Each mission has an action that triggers completion. Sometimes, the trigger is to fly close to a specific object in space, or kill a specific NPC ship. Mission briefings are not always clear about the exact objectives of missions. If you thought that you completed a mission but your agent says that you did not complete all of the objectives, there are a few things you can try. For an encounter mission, try killing all enemy ships if you did not already, and, if that does not work, try getting as close as possible to any structures that you had to deal with for the mission (like habitation modules or cargo containers, for example.)
Always check the mission briefing from the Journal window for the words "Objective Completed" in green. If you do not see that in the mission briefing, you have not completed all of the objectives. The Journal tab will flash when you have completed the mission, unless you have the Journal window open.
Where can I see the missions that I have accepted?
The navigation bar on the left has a tab that says Journal. Click it to see a list of missions that you have accepted. From this window, you can read the mission briefing, which is a description of the mission and its objectives, rewards, expiration, and so on. You can also right-click on a mission in your Journal and start a conversation with the agent who offered you the mission.
What if I fail a mission, or the mission expires before I complete it?
If you accepted a mission but are not able to complete it before it expires, or if you accepted a mission but then tell your agent that you can't complete it, you will lose standing with your agent and his corporation. To avoid this, only accept a mission if you're pretty sure that you can complete it successfully!
What if I am offered a mission but I turn it down, or it expires before I accept it?
There is no penalty for turning down a mission, unless you turned down a mission from the same agent within the last four hours. You might also lose standing if you are offered a mission but let the mission offer expire. If you want to turn down a mission but you have already turned one down recently, the game will pop up a warning window by default. If that happens, you should wait a while and try declining the mission offer later. Mission offers usually do not expire until several days after they are offered, so you have a fairly large window of time in which to turn down a mission offer.
I thought I completed the mission, but my agent says something about delivering things in person. What does that mean?
If you go back to your agent to say that you have completed a mission, but the agent tells you that you need to deliver things in person, you have to go to the station where you dropped off the goods, start a conversation with your agent from there, and say that you completed the mission. Your agent will be listed in the Agents of Interest tab in the Station Information window. Courier missions, where you deliver goods to another station, require you to inform your agent from the delivery destination instead of agent's station.
Can I get missions with CONCORD?
No; it is not possible to get missions with CONCORD. There are no CONCORD agents in the game. Your security status is the same as your standing with CONCORD, though, so if you fight pirates or do other tasks that increase your security standing, you will get better standing with CONCORD.